On 30th November, local fans of the sultry songstress gathered at the Brunswick to celebrate their idol with a tribute night like no other: 8 acts performing 2 songs each, either reinventing their favourite Bush tunes or impersonating the diva's iconic style and distinctive vocals.
The night opened with Ross Devlin, who gave an impressive rendition of Kite with beautiful falsetto and had the audience singing along on Don't Give Up. Next came Alan Bonner with This Woman's Work and King Of The Mountain, which he performed passionately and with great heart. Sam Chara, dressed in an incredible red gown, literally wowed the audience with Wow before changing to a catsuit for The Man With A Child In His Eyes, her theatrical vocal style and dance moves perfectly replicating that special Kate Bush magic we all came to experience. I Am FYA closed this first part with an energetic rendition of Love And Anger and Be Kind To My Mistakes in a Jamaican dancehall style, using her own backing tracks, heavy beats and smooth vocals to bring a fresh and modern take on the songs.
After a short break, the now excited and delighted crowd of Bush fans gathered again to listen to Paul Diello, the host and curator of the show, who also runs award-winning LGBT nights and a fringe event called Epicene, where he performs songs from his favourite female singers (including, of course, Kate Bush) with a 9-piece band. For Hello Earth, Diello sat at the piano and sang with two backing vocalists, creating beautiful harmonies on the song's poignant melody. The second tune, Under The Ivy (a B-side of Running Up That Hill) was even more stunning, with the addition of subtle bass tones and violin. Then came Ebony Grace, whose angelic voice was perfectly suited to Moving and the highly anticipated Wuthering Heights, which she performed on keyboard wearing a red dress, true to Kate's trademark style. She made the singer's operatic vibrato her own and conquered the audience, earning herself a standing ovation.
Now was the time for Fake Bush to take the stage with her hilarious and extremely accurate impersonation of Kate. Her festive version of December Will Be Magic Again, complete with bells and reindeer antlers, was followed with the incongruous Coffee Homeground, a Hammer Horror B-side where she also played the triangle. Fake Bush sounds almost exactly like the real thing and is a very entertaining performer, whose passion for Kate is evident - she has a whole show dedicated to her muse on 21st December (click here for more info).
Last but not least, Lucy Powell aka LosFeliz mesmerized the audience with her very emotional and melancholic take on Running Up That Hill, which gave me goosebumps, before ending with her favourite song And Dream Of Sheep, leaving the audience completely silent in awe. Finally, Paul Diello gathered everyone on stage for a singalong on Hounds of Love, concluding the evening on a cheerful note. The show was excellent and varied from beginning to end, and allowed me to (re)discover Kate Bush's repertoire across the decades whilst being introduced to some of Brighton's finest musicians.
The next tribute night organised by Paul Diello (Fourth World Promotions) will take place on 31st January and celebrate Joni Mitchell's music. Don't miss it!
Photo credit: Anya Arnold
Poster by Rooftop Shouts